Most of you will already know that I’m currently working on a new keynote. It’s called ‘Small Changes, Big Impact: the Power of Rest and Recovery in the Working World’. And, as an exercise, I want to share a rather fun little anecdote that perfectly illustrates the power of small changes.
A Small Change
Recently, my partner Antonia and I spent some time back at Lynbreck Croft, a regenerative farm in Scotland run by our friends, Lynn and Sandra. While we were there, they told us a story…
Fortunately, they don’t have people wandering across their fields. Therefore, they don’t have to worry about things like dog attacks or hikers leaving gates open – or any of the other nightmares farmers often face when they have to share their land with the public. Despite this, they do still have checks and balances. For example, ensuring damaged fences are repaired immediately and gates are kept closed when necessary.
One particular evening, Sandra did her usual checks on the property and they went to bed – safe and secure in the fact that their seven highland cattle were sleeping down in their field. However, when they woke up and looked out of the window, they couldn’t see the cows. So, they quickly got up to double check, and no, they really weren’t there.
After retracing their steps, they realised that a gate had indeed been left open: a small change. The cows had not only figured this out, they had squeezed through the gap until the gate was wide open. Then, whilst Lynn and Sandra slept, they roamed around the property, tiptoeing past their bedroom window to raid the kitchen garden! Luckily, they didn’t decide to take the lane that led up to the road. Instead, they helped themselves to whatever took their fancy before falling into a deep, satisfied slumber beneath a cherry tree by the farmhouse: big impact.
A Big Impact
So there you have it: a small change, leading to a big impact over time. Of course, I’m being flippant with that story. But I do think it helps to raise this particular point. We don’t need to make big, sweeping gestures to make a difference. In fact, even the slightest alteration to your sleep routine could positively improve your energy, mood, and motivation. This might look like ring-fencing those last 10 minutes before bed. Or perhaps introducing 10 minutes of meditation to your list of daily non-negotiables. It could be making standing your default during the workday – something that can have a huge effect on your posture, and state of relaxedness.
Small changes have a big impact over time. So what will you do today to start progressing towards your goals?
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